Hot Pink Four-Poster

Not that I need *another* project going on right now, but I’ve begun the painting of the new bed for my oldest child: a wood four-poster canopy bed that’s going from worn and tired to HOT PINK.  After the success I had with the kitchen table, I feel bold enough to tackle this, even though I have yet to finish painting the kitchen cabinet doors (which isn’t entirely my fault–I still haven’t found the right hinges to use, and it’s killing me slowly).  The added incentive to get this project not just off the ground but completed is that she’s having two teeth pulled this week to make room for her braces to do what they’re meant to do, and I wanted her to have a nice big bed to recuperate.  I’m actually planning a stealth room makeover for her, partly out of love and devotion and partly because she’s 16 and I have very few chances left to quietly control her direct her on toward better taste.

This bed was my parents’ when they were first married. I don’t think it has been fully assembled with the canopy top since at least my high school years, and it has been in storage for the past seven.  I set it up in the garage to make it easier to paint over the course of a few days, since I knew I wouldn’t be able to get into all those nooks and crannies with the pieces lying flat.  And yes, those are my cabinet doors, lined up behind the bed and half-finished.  That is how I roll.

I wiped the whole thing down with a rag first, then followed with a de-glosser to remove the rest of the dust and dirt and nearly 40 years’ worth of fingerprints.  This poor bed has been through untold number of moves–including two continents–plus at least one flood, two attics, three basements and two garages.  It has tolerated jumping, babies, and abuse.  It really was time for it to shine as a new thing, and I was hoping that by cleaning it up and dressing it pretty, we’d find it has some life in it still.  After the de-glosser had a chance to dry, I hit the whole thing with a coat of primer.

I have learned through painting our cabinets and our kitchen table that a foam roller gives a nice finish, but doesn’t put on near enough paint to cover a dark wood.  So on this project, I slapped the paint on with a brush, then followed it with a roller to smooth out the strokes.  Seems to work pretty well.  I didn’t do the roller with the glossy paint, just with the primer–for some reason, when I try the same trick with the paint, I get these itty bitty bubbles all over and I get an even poorer finish than with the brush alone.  But with a really smooth primer coat, the brush and gloss paint work just fine.

An hour(ish) for the primer to dry (I went and ran carpool while I was waiting), and then on went the paint: full gloss enamel in an electric raspberry that’s pretty close to the Pantone Color of the Year from 2011, Honeysuckle.

Her bedroom walls are a deep peacock blue, and she’ll get new crisp white sheets and a new dove grey duvet cover (plus a new slipcover for her armchair).  I’ll be rearranging some bookshelves, too, so that her room will have better flow.  Because in another two years, she’ll be on her own, and my job will be to say, “You do what you like, sweetie,” rather than, “Would you like to try it this way?”  This is my final act of heavy hand-holding.  Well, in the home decor department, anyway.  We still have the SAT and college admissions to get through!

This is one coat of primer and one coat of paint, so we’ve still got a ways to go.  Plus, there’s disassembling it all and moving it into her room, along with the other pieces I’ve snagged for her–a great desk off of Craig’s List and a hand-me-down high boy chest of drawers from my mother-in-law.  Final reveal after two more coats, and the Extreme Room Make-over!

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  • April Forshee
    March 14, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Love it, Deborah! Love!

    • Deborah
      March 14, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      Yay!! It’s a scary color to paint, I’ll be honest–could have gone so, so wrong. But so far I think it rocks!

  • Diane Christy
    March 14, 2012 at 9:33 am

    (Sounds of snuffly weeping.) So glad this antique pine bed from Ethan Allen, circa 1972, lives on! Looking gooooooood!

    • Deborah
      March 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      One coat on, two to go–and she LOVES the color. 🙂

  • romney
    March 14, 2012 at 10:25 am

    I painted a door that exact colour by mistake once. Its awfully hard to get rid of once you’ve done it. A couple of layers over the top and it still sort of…glows.

    • Deborah
      March 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      It *does* glow! I had a moment of panic when I put on the first brush strokes, worried I’d made totally the wrong choice–luckily, she saw it today and loves it. Whew!

  • Mary Boshell
    March 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I had the same bed growing up! I thought it was my princess bed, but if it had been pink! Oh My Goodness! I’m sure your daughter will love it.

    • Deborah
      March 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      I think because it’s not baby pink, but more punk pink, that it will bridge that gap between girly and sophisticated–we aren’t ready for her to be *too* grown up yet, but we do want her to know that we know she’s growing up. It’s a tough line to stand on!

  • Rachel at Stitched in Color
    March 15, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Oh, this is fun. What an amazing bed it was and will be. Thank-you for fully divulging your motivations. That’s totally how I will be when Aria is 16!

    • Deborah
      March 15, 2012 at 11:55 am

      Hee! There’s a fine line between “wanting to be transparent” and “wanting to NOT be a liar.” I know if I sat here and pretended this was totally altruistic and out of devotion to my child–which of course it IS, at least in part–that I’d be painting that rosy blog picture. Obviously, I want her to love her room, and to do something for her these last few years she’s at home to demonstrate how precious she is to us–but, man, the clutter in that room is making me CRAZY. If I don’t rearrange in there, someone’s head is going to explode. Plus, I was serious: when she gets to be 18, her place is HER place, and Mommy will keep her paint cans and her fingers to herself unless asked, I prommise. 🙂

  • Carolyn
    May 20, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Hi there! I was looking for Hot Pink Enamel and found your page! Did you finish the bed yet? Where did you get the paint? Did you have to have it mixed? And of course, what brand?

    I really look forward to seeing the pictures, and if I’m posting this in the wrong place, I apologize….

  • Lindee Katdare
    October 2, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    I found your page looking for hot pink beds. I am getting ready to do a project and want to paint the bed hot pink. I have a vision…but am getting 2 thumbs down from everyone. I will be putting this in a store. Do you have any pictures of it completely finished? Possibly with bedding? I am nervous!

  • Jessica
    August 8, 2014 at 1:06 am

    Do you have a picture of it finished?

    Thanks so much